Aug 4, 2013, 8:12 PM EDT
Still, if NHL.com’s latest story on the 36-year-old defenseman is any indication, Mitchell and the Los Angeles Kings no longer seem to need counseling to cope with his complicated rehab from knee issues. More specifically, GM Dean Lombardi claims that “Mitchell’s attitude has changed to enthusiastic as his progress has improved.”
Lombardi had nothing but praise for the defensive stalwart, at least when he can get on the ice.
“When he is out there, and I don’t think I’m out of line, I think he’s one of the top-five most underrated players in the League,” Lombardi said. “I think you’ve really got to know the game to appreciate him. We all appreciated him when we had him, but, boy, there are subtleties in his game that you see night in and night out. It’s his stick and his positioning. He’s probably one of the top penalty killers in the League.”
Even without Mitchell in the fold, the Kings’ defense is stacked with players, so the addition of such a key presence could make their blueline corps downright crowded.
Lombardi can think of far more troubling scenarios than having too many NHL defensemen.
“I guess we’re deep, particularly if Willie is healthy; but to me they’re like good pitchers, I don’t think you can have enough of them,” Lombardi said. “I’ll deal with this a whole lot better than I would with a shortage. It’s a good problem to have.”
Still, it remains to be seen if Mitchell can actually become a fixture once again.
- Canucks ink Brandon Sutter to five-year, $21.875 million extension 18
- NHL unveils ‘historic’ digital media rights deal with MLBAM 36
- It’s Detroit Red Wings Day at PHT 15
- What does Jack Eichel mean to the Buffalo Sabres? 32
- It’s Buffalo Sabres Day at PHT 33
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 29
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 62
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? (62)
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs (45)
- Owner Pegula: Sabres have gone through ‘two of the most successful seasons we’ve ever had’ (43)
- NHL unveils ‘historic’ digital media rights deal with MLBAM (36)